Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater Reef Aquaria
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 05-18-2008, 12:31 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 1,744
Ongoing Algae Problem

Hi guys,

As some of you may know, I've been having major problems with algae for the past few months.

My tank is a 10G nano, been set up for about 8 months, and I've been having algae problems for probably about the last 4 months.

It's mainly green hair (I think) algae, all over the live rock, glass, and in the sand. Basically everywhere! It's terrible. There's also a small amount of deep red algae, maybe cyano, but the green is by far the main problem.

About 6 weeks ago, I cut down my feedings to just once a day (either Ocean Nutrition flake, or frozen brineshrimp etc.), and reduced my lights (just 33w white/actinic) to 9-10 hours a day. The only livestock I have are an ocellaris clown, and a magenta dottyback. I had some hermit crabs/snails, but they've died within the last few weeks, no idea why (water levels constantly optimal).

My water levels and consistently fine - temp 26įC, pH 8.4, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates <5, SG 1.024.

I use RO water that I buy from my LFS, and do a 25% waterchange every 2 weeks. My filtration is mainly from LR (8KG), and also a small internal filter which I use PURA filter pads and carbon balls in (changed every 2 weeks).

Basically, I clean the algae out (as much as I can, I can't get to it all!), and then in a few days it's all back again. The glass is manageable, just annoying, but on the rock it's so hard to get off. I'd just like something that will kill off all the algae in my tank, allowing it to decompose (if possible!) or just allow me to get it all out, then KEEP it out.

Can anyone help?

Thanks,

Mark
__________________

__________________
MarkW19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2008, 12:37 PM   #2
SW 20 & Over Club
 
ccCapt's Avatar


 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Northeast PA
Posts: 5,362
Send a message via ICQ to ccCapt
Hair algae thrives on high nutrients.....nitrates, phosphates and silicates. Have you tested your phosphate? Also test the phosphate of the water you are buying.
Try running some GFO (granular ferric oxide) to get whatever phoshpate and silicate you may have out of the system.
__________________

__________________
/Larry
125g reef
See My Tank Info
Check out The build project
ccCapt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2008, 01:09 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 1,744
Quote:
Originally Posted by cccapt View Post
Hair algae thrives on high nutrients.....nitrates, phosphates and silicates. Have you tested your phosphate? Also test the phosphate of the water you are buying.
Try running some GFO (granular ferric oxide) to get whatever phoshpate and silicate you may have out of the system.
Thanks for the reply.

I'm going to have my phosphates tested tomorrow at my LFS (I don't have a test kit) - am I right in thinking it should be <0.03ppm?

I'll also get some Rowaphos (GFO as you suggested), and put it in between 2 layers of PURA filter pads in my filter, to see if that helps anything.

EDIT: Just found some old Rowaphos, that's been in my garage unused for about 3-4 years. How do I find out if it's OK to use? No expiry date on it or anything, few drips of moisture on the inside of the lid.
__________________
MarkW19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2008, 01:48 PM   #4
AA Team Emeritus
 
Ziggy953's Avatar



POTM Champion
Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Owings Mills, Maryland
Posts: 9,101
I think I would just buy some new and not use the old stuff.

Have you tried testing your Nitrates with another kit? It could be you are getting false readings with the one you have. I would increase the PWCs to weekly (especially on a 10g) and reduce the feedings further still to once every other day. Also what are you using to top your tank off for evaporation? Are you using RO/DI water for that also or straight tap?
Ziggy953 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2008, 02:24 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 1,744
I've had my LFS test my nitrates as well yes, and they're equally low (less than 5ppm).

I don't really have the time to be doing weekly PWCs at the moment, and I'm reluctant to go to one feeding every other day, as my fish bite my hand off even as it is, at one feeding a day!

I use RO (the same RO as I use for my PWCs) for daily top ups.

I'm going to give the Rowaphos a go from tomorrow, fingers crossed that sorts it. If not, I'll look at doing something further.
__________________
MarkW19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2008, 05:52 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 89
Mark,
I am not as experienced as these guys but do have some experience with nanos. I have a 24 gallon, my son has a 12 gallon. He's more knowledgeable than I am so I will tell him about your post.

I've had my fair share of algae issues with my nano. Things I've learned:

1. Buy yourself a good test kit. It's a must with a nano because the water parameters can change so quickly.

2. If you have hair algae, it's a *&%#@ to get rid of! I had to scrub my rocks (in a bucket with water from my tank) and use tweezers to get it off. A child sized toothbrush, sterilized, works terrifically. You have to get it all and keep at it. Patience is the key.

3. Replace your cleaning crew if you haven't already.

4. Fish are terrible beggers. If you want to control algae in a nano, you have to stop the everyday feeding. Mine are terrible beggars. Remember that they don't eat everyday in their natural environment (or that's what I tell myself anyway). I feed mine 3x a week. Feed good quality food less often.

5. My nitrates and phosphate tests were off when I had a cyno problem (red algae??). The experts here will explain why.

6. I had to go "dark" for 48 hours to completely get rid of diatoms (brown dust on my sand) in my nano. My corals survived just fine.

7. Regular water changes with RO/DO SW is critical.

8. I top off everyday with fresh RO/DO in warm weather due to evaporation.

9. I have plenty of live rock for filtration because nanos don't have the benefit on the larger tank filtration options. I also added an extra pump for water flow because nanos can have dead spots which leads to problems.

10. I added a nano protein skimmer. I know not everyone likes them. My son got mine to fit in the sump. It really filters out a lot of junk and my water levels are very stable.

Good luck. Listen to the folks here!
__________________
fishcrack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2008, 06:38 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 1,744
Thanks a lot for your extensive post!

I'm going to get my phosphates and nitrates tested at my LFS tomorrow, then depending on my phosphates, get some new Rowaphos to put in my filter. Also getting 6 hermit crabs (going to leave the snails as they didn't do much last time!) and a cleaner shrimp just for good measure. I'll also feed less than I do now, but every day, that would make me feel better

Depending on what happens then, I may have a "dark" period of 2-3 days, so see if that helps anything.
__________________
MarkW19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2008, 10:45 PM   #8
SW REEF 18+ YEARS
Community Admin
 
melosu58's Avatar



Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38,249
Here is a good checklist

FantasyReef Databases-Viewing item "10 Step Plan for Nuisance Algae Control"
__________________

SITE ADMINISTRATOR

You can view many of my fish and corals in my photo albums in my profile.

View my tank


AA Community Rules|AA TOS

Forums 101 - posting, accounts, basics
melosu58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2008, 10:59 AM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 1,744
Thanks.

I had my phosphates tested, and they're undetectable. The nitrates are also the same as my test kit - 4ppm.

So, I didn't go with the Rowaphos as I have OK phosphates anyway!

I got 5 hermit crabs, and a new algae scraper blade, to at least make my life a bit easier. BUT, it's still not solved the problem! My LFS mentioned it could be the type of lights - I have 1x11w actinic CF, and 2x11w FRESHWATER white CF, maybe it's the freshwater lights that are causing the problem, with them not being marine?

From your link, Melosu, I'll cut back to daily feedings (ignoring the constant begging every time I walk into the room!), cut the lights back a bit more (to just a few hours a day, maybe 7), and I'll see how that goes. If it doesn't improve, I'll do a week's total blackout, and see what happens after that.

I have tried most of the steps before though, and it keeps coming back. Oh well, I'll give it another shot and report back...
__________________
MarkW19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2008, 11:29 AM   #10
AA Team Emeritus
 
roka64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,860
Send a message via AIM to roka64 Send a message via Yahoo to roka64
How old are your lights? Remember, as lights get older, the spectrum will shift and can cause algae.
Fishcrack, cyano is a bacteria and not an algae, just a friendly FYI.
__________________

__________________
Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

Vote for AA
Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
Fishless Cycling
Need more help?
Articles
Acronym List

--Scott
roka64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
algae

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
algae problem Jshaffer79 Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 13 09-08-2009 08:18 PM
upgrading to a 180 ongoing quetions & cost tally pipermurphy Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 11 02-25-2007 10:07 PM
Ongoing Tiger Barb Issues, seriously at a loss here... The_Gopher Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish 8 01-15-2006 12:10 AM
Algae problem Activehowto Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 3 12-25-2005 04:55 PM
algae problem seacat Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 5 12-09-2004 10:46 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.